Tornado sirens helpful during storm season - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Tornado sirens helpful during storm season

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MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -

With severe weather season upon us, it's important to be prepared, and tornado sirens can play a big role in your safety.

When those sirens go off, that means you should take cover.

"Don't over think this," said Marathon County Emergency Management Director Steve Hagman.

The sirens mean a tornado warning has been issued for your county. That means either a tornado has been spotted, or radar has picked up the formation of one.

"When communities put those in, they're trying to warn people that are outside biking, or outdoors," Hagman told Newsline 9.

Emergency officials say the sirens were not designed to warn people in their homes or businesses. They say you should have other ways to stay informed.

"They really should have weather radios, they really shouldn't depend upon government to watch out for them," said Hagman.

Authorities say in case of severe weather, a radio could save your life, and they're fairly inexpensive.

"They run on batteries if you don't have power, and you're getting that signal before the siren goes off. You're getting it as soon as the national weather service sends that signal," Hagman added.

Emergency officials say tornado sirens are located in cities across the state, but a more reliable way to know when is a storm is coming may be to use your cell phone.

"There are apps--you can go to Channel 9 and get their app, and get that right to your cell phone, but people need to be proactive," said Hagman.

Safety officials say sirens are regularly maintained, so it works when needed the most.

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